PARO the Robot: Enhancing Communication Through Play
This research and the resulting
paper was the culmination of 5 years of work surrounding "Paro" the
robot seal. We sought to answer the question "Does playing with a robot
enhance social interaction among those on the autism spectrum?" Our
findings indicate that the opportunity to play with the robot in
mixed-group settings reduced stereotypical and sensory-seeking behaviors
in favor of socially interactive and representational play.
Additionally, a student with a marked fear of animals showed reduced
fear behavior over the course of the 10 week study.
This research was presented at the Autism Society of America's
annual conference in Indianapolis, IN, and most notably, at IMFAR 2013,
in Donostia, Spain.